HPU Men’s Golf: Einstein in Top Ten after AGT Intercollegiate First Round

Site: Kiawah Island, S.C.
Course: Oak Point Golf Course (Par 72, 6,701 yards)
Tournament: AGT Intercollegiate
HPU Team Standing: T-6th of 10 teams (292, +4)
Top HPU Individual: Brandon Einstein, T-8th (70, -2)
Next HPU Round: Monday, Jan. 25 — at AGT Intercollegiate (Kiawah Island, S.C.)

KIAWAH ISLAND, S.C. – High Point University men’s golf redshirt sophomore Brandon Einstein sits in the top ten in a tie for eighth place at two-under after day one of the Any Given Tuesday Intercollegiate on Sunday (Jan. 24). The team ended the first round in a tie for sixth place at +4, tied with Winthrop for the lowest round among Big South teams.

“Man, it feels great to be back in tournament mode,” head coach Brady Gregor said after round one. “The guys were excited to be back and were a little too excited so with a bit more focus tomorrow we’ll be where we should be. Einstein parred 14 holes in a row after a strong start and Hooker and Christian [Castillo] had strong back nines that kept us in the tournament. Tomorrow we start the climb.”

All six of the Panthers started on the back, with all 10 teams playing in two threesomes made of their teammates as a COVID-19 safety precaution. Einstein wasted no time getting into red numbers, birdieing the par-4 10th. He gave the stroke back on the par-3 11th but recorded back-to-back birdies on 12 and 13 to get to -2. That was the end of the red numbers for HPU’s top player, but the 11th was the only bogey he carded, as Einstein parred his remaining 14 holes to card a 70 and finish as one of 14 players under par.

Einstein’s classmate Adam Hooker had the next-best round for HPU, firing an even-par 72 on day one. He also bogeyed the 11th but got the stroke back with a birdie on 14. Hooker ran into a bit of a rough patch playing into the wind on the final three holes on the back, picking up bogeys on 16, 17, and 18 to make the turn at three-over. He rebounded nicely right away, bouncing back with a birdie on the par-5 first to get some momentum back. Hooker then birdied the par-5 fourth and then picked up another on six – the only birdie on the sixth hole across the entire field in day one, to get back to even par, where he finished the round.

Graduate student Alec Weary started his round with a pair of bogeys on 10 and 11 but picked up his first red number of the round with a birdie on the par-5 12th. Weary parred the remaining holes on the back and got back to even with a birdie on hole one after making the turn. He then bogeyed the second hole and gave another shot back on the par-5 eighth to end his day at two-over with a 74.

Christian Castillo had the fourth counting score for the Panthers, finishing his day with a 76. The redshirt freshman’s round got off to a bit of a rocky start with a double and a bogey before picking up a birdie on 12. Castillo then bogeyed 13, 15, 17, and 18 to make the turn six over before rebounding with a birdie on the first. He picked up two more birdies on the front with one more bogey to finish +4 on the day.

Redshirt junior Ryan McCarthy and freshman Grady Newton were both in action for the Purple and White, with Newton playing in his first tournament. McCarthy made the turn at one-over with two birdies before carding a 41 on the front to finish with a 78 while Newton ended the day with an 80 and is still looking for his first bird of the event.

Kennesaw State is the leader in the clubhouse after the first 18 holes, coming in at -13 with a 275. Connor Coffee paced the Owls with a 67, tied for the lead with Coastal Carolina’s Zack Taylor. Coastal is in second as a team at -6, followed by Jacksonville State at -4, Florida Gulf Coast at -3, and Morehead State at even par to round out the top five.

The AGT Intercollegiate continues Monday morning (Jan. 25) with High Point scheduled to go off the back again at 9:25 and 9:35 a.m.